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Preventing your pages or WooCommerce products from being indexed by Google search

Sometimes you don’t want Google to pick up your page, or even WooCommerce products and display them in search. This is usually when your site has hidden pages or products you don’t want anyone to see. Or maybe you only want certain people to see them.

If we’re talking WooCommerce products, they should already be hidden from catalogue and product search (in the product settings), but that’s not enough to prevent Google from indexing them.

Why does this happen?

Google’s ‘bots’ crawl the web, following links around websites and adding pages to Google’s index. When someone makes a search on Google, it then consults its index before displaying results. That’s the simple version at least.

We use the Yoast SEO plugin on every site and this provides a simple way to ask search engines not to index your content.

How to stop Google indexing your product or page

Just log in to your site and navigate to your page or product (via the front or back end, it makes no difference) and scroll down to your Yoast SEO settings.

Open the Advanced tab and change the settings as shown below:

It’s simple. Set Allow search engines to show this Product (page/Post) in search results – select No. This, by the way, is called noindexing.

The second control (Should search engines follow links) we also set to No, though it’s not strictly necessary.

And that’s it.

If your product/page/post is already indexed and you want to remove it, you can also hurry things along by asking us to send Google a new site map once you have noindexed everything you need to.